Today, the University of Utah welcomed 89 high school coaches from China to participate in a training and education program for the next three months. As members of the Federation University Sports China, the coaches will work with U athletics staff on techniques in men and women’s basketball, track and field, swimming and cheerleading.
Part of the Pac-12 Globalization Initiative and funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council, the program specifically focuses on coaching strategy, game preparation, film review, assistant coach development and practice structure. In addition, the curriculum will include off-the-field items such as sports psychology, strength training, nutrition, public relations and marketing. Following the program, each participating coach will be issued a certificate of completion.
“The Office for Global Engagement is pleased to be coordinating this first-ever China coaches training program,” said Michael Hardman, chief global officer for the University of Utah. “A critical part of the U mission is to explore and better understand the interconnectivity between people and places around the world, and then apply that learning here at home. This very unique program brings some of China’s best high school coaches to our campus, providing us the opportunity to share our expertise as well as learn from and about Chinese culture.”
As China’s national solely authorized organization for university sports, the FUSC operates under the Ministry of Education. Since 2011, the Pac-12 and FUSC have worked together to put on exhibition and now regular season games featuring Pac-12 men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as coaching clinics and educational symposiums on collegiate sports.
“The U, in partnership with the Pac-12 and the China Ministry of Education, welcomes the opportunity to play a key role in this unique education and cultural exchange program,” said U President David W. Pershing. “We are confident our outstanding athletics department, College of Health and Department of Linguistics will provide the highest quality training to these coaches who have come to Utah from top-tier high schools throughout China. The next three months will offer invaluable learning and cultural experiences not only for the China coaches, but for our faculty, staff and students as well.”
Participating in the initiative, Arizona State University will also work with 100 college coaches from China. The initiative aims to support international outreach efforts for the entire conference and provide cultural exchange experiences.
The U is currently heavily engaged in outreach in Asia through research, teaching, learning abroad and international studies. The Asia campus in South Korea opened in 2014, and offers several undergraduate degrees and one graduate degree to students from around the world.